Mac Smokin (Sunday 15th October 2017)

 

Bruce Stewart

 

Smokey Mac is starting to string together a good formline but trainer Brett Gray isn't looking too far ahead with the promising trotter.

 

In yesterday's main trotting race at Gore driver Brent Barclay took the son of Thanksgiving to the lead from the 10 metre mark and made the backmarkers Poppymalda (40 metres), Alderbeck (50 metres) and Father Christmas (40 metres) work hard.

 

The handicap proved too much for this trio with Smokey Mac holding on to win by a length and a quarter from Poppymalda with a nose back to a late finishing Alderbeck in third.

 

"With the draw and with the backmarkers you want to keep them working a bit so we took him to the front. But he's got a great sprint from in behind," said trainer Brett Gray. 

 

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Smokey Mac at the Winton Workouts prior to him qualifying - Photo Bruce Stewart. 

 

Smokey Mac is out of the Armbro Invasion mare Uncatchable and is closely related to Charlie Wood and Perfect du Jour both of which won seven races. He's owned by John and Pam Macleod from Winton who also him and Gray says he's been a bit of a project.

 

"He's just one of those horses. He's always had ability but you just don't know which way he's going to go. So the jury is out at the moment. It'll really be interesting how good he goes when he has to really dig deep. But he does keep on surprising me." 

 

And the stable have sorted out what works best for Smokey Mac particularly on race days. 

 

"As long as his attitude doesn't pull him up I think he'll be okay. We do work him on race day morning and we've got permission to take him around to the start late, it's really working well at the moment. Every time he races now he relaxes and drops the bit. At home he just ambles round and doesn't work that great by himself but if you take a stick with you he'll be away, so he's a bit of a character. He's still only learning but he's really made some progress this year."  

 

Later in the programme Erin Jaccka returned to the winners circle when she held on by a neck to beat Jabali. It was the five year old mare's third win from eighteen starts and Gray says he was pleased to see her win yesterday on the rain affected track. 

 

"Maybe with the wet track she appreciated it a bit more. I was a bit worried about the track though, as she can jump out of her gear."

 

Erin Jaccka looked very smart as a three year old winning a mile race at Winton in what was then a track and Southland record time of 1-53.9, but she hasn't built on that form.

 

"We suspect it was a joint issue (that was affecting her) but we haven't really got to the bottom of it. We work on her knees a bit. We do give her treatment for arthritis by injecting her in the muscle which covers all the joints."   

 

 

 

 

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